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Iran threatens US with preemptive strike

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AFP: Iranian Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani warned today that Iran might launch a pre-emptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities.
“We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us. Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly,” Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV …

Iranian Parliament Proposes National Costume To Combat Western Fashions

AFP: Iran’s conservative parliament is preparing designs for national Islamic costumes to combat the corrupting influence  of Western fashion, a prominent MP said Wednesday.
“We have to design new trends within the framework of an Islamic dress code. Both men and women need a national costume,” Emad Afroogh, head of the parliamentary cultural commission, told student news agency ISNA.

Iranian Parliament Refuses To Define Political Crimes

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AFP: Iran’s conservative-controlled parliament on Wednesday blocked a plan to define political crimes which would have clarified the status of political prisoners, said the student news agency ISNA.
The parliament, or Majlis, blocked a proposal that asked the government to give a legal definition of political crimes.

US: Iran has clandestine nuke weapons program

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Xinhuanet: The United States said on Wednesday that Iran had a clandestine nuclear weapons program and the US commitment was to address the problem through peaceful diplomatic engagement.

Iran warns Israel on pre-emptive strikes

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Daily Telegraph: Iran warned America and Israel last night that it was ready to launch pre-emptive strikes to stop them attacking its nuclear facilities.
Ali Shamkhani, the Iranian defence minister, said the presence of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was not a threat to Teheran. On the contrary, American soldiers were now “hostages” to Iran.

Revolutionary Guards General Set to Become Iran’s Censor in Chief

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Iran Focus: A new budget amendment adopted by the dominant ultra-conservative faction in the Iranian parliament is set to concentrate enormous powers over the mass media in the hand of a former general of the Revolutionary Guards who now heads the Voice and Vision of the Islamic Republic, the state-owned broadcasting monopoly in Iran.

Iranian hardliners rule out gender equality

AFP: Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament voted down a bid by its reformist predecessor to support women’s rights and enforce gender equality, press reports said Wednesday.

Tehran steps up campaign against senior Iraqi Shiite clerics

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Iran Focus: Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Propaganda Agency have been waging an extensive campaign in recent days to undermine the position of senior Iraqi Shiite clerics who have been reluctant to tow Tehran’s line in Iraq, targeting in particular Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Daily links Iraq clashes to Iran’s internal scene

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Iran Focus: The editor of the influential state-owned daily, Kayhan, made a clear link between the current turmoil in Iraq and the developments on the internal political scene in Iran, noting that mounting problems facing the U.S. in Iraq have silenced those who were hoping for “regime change” in Iran.

Rift grows as Iranians caught fighting for Sadr

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The Guardian: Security officials in Baghdad were last night urgently investigating the background of 30 Iranians who were caught fighting for a rebel Shia cleric in Iraq, amid mounting concern over the involvement of the Tehran regime in the uprising.